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Sandy Changes Restaurateur's Plans; Re-Opening as 'Maroon'

Opening just before Superstorm Sandy touched down, Tarantella lasted just a few weeks. So Mark Battell came up with a new plan.

Mark Battell's timing could not have been much worse.

The week after he opened up Tarantella – a white-tablecloth, family-style Italian dining restaurant on Route 112 in Port Jefferson Station – Long Island's biggest storm to hit in more than a lifetime touched down.

Superstorm Sandy hit nine days after Battell opened up Tarantella on Oct. 22, and just as he was trying to get his new business off the ground, eating out was in the back of many local's minds, who were instead concerned with picking fallen trees up from their yard, pumping out their basements, helping out family and friends as they picked up the pieces, or finding enough gas for their commute to work. 

So after making at run at Tarentella for about a month, Battell decided to start back up again himself and get things back into place.

Soon – possibly as close as next week – Battell plans on opening Maroon, a more casual-style bar and pub in the space where Tarantella didn't catch on.

"I wasn't about to lick my wounds and walk away," he said on Wednesday. "I could have stayed open, but it wasn't going to catch on. Everyone was worried about getting heat and gas the week after I opened. And that time of year is never a good time to open up anyways. So we ceased operations in the first week of December."

Batell said he took the experience as Tarantella as a sign that a more casual operation might be a better fit for the location, which has seen several incarnations as eateries over the years, recently the Cattleman's Steakhouse and Rib City Ale House.

Using the existing awnings partly as a guide, Battell went with the simple "Maroon."

"I've found one-word names tend to be easy to remember, and the color scheme worked I think," he said.

The menu will consist of hand-crafted, eight-dollar burgers, as well as typical pub fare such as wings and appetizers. Breaking from the family-style theme, entertainment at Maroon will include live music, comedy, trivia, mystery theater and more. Hours will be from 11 a.m. to midnight or 1 a.m. on weekdays, and until 2 a.m. on weekends.

Earl January 31, 2013 at 05:14 PM
Best of luck! Not sure why nothing seems to last in this location.
Frank Raffaele January 31, 2013 at 08:19 PM
IMO it's low visibility. The restaurant is at the end of a row of otherwise low profile stores, it isn't well lit, and it's hard to see from southbound 112 until you're past it.
Annie Gurl January 31, 2013 at 08:51 PM
I pass this site daily and was wondering what happened as we hadn't had a chance to even try the new place. Wishing you the best!
Mels Ditties February 01, 2013 at 06:10 AM
Sounds like a great evening out!...As a 50 something, a nice dinner out with entertainment could become a regular routine... Good Luck for Much Success
mfitz February 01, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Will give it a try.
TheMan. February 22, 2013 at 07:42 PM
Tarantella went down because the owner couldnt afford to pay his staff, not because of the storm. And there was no knowledge on running a resturant what so ever. Plus the food sucked. I doubt this place will be any better.
Libby March 05, 2013 at 06:19 PM
Maroon is officially open! Come down and try one of our hand-crafted burgers and sandwiches or one of our dozen daily specials. Every menu item is scratch-made and made from the freshest ingredients! We hope to see you soon!
Ivan Ivanovich March 25, 2013 at 03:40 AM
Yummy food great service, the best
Ivan Ivanovich March 25, 2013 at 03:42 AM
Lol. Every Italian who helped their momma's make sauce thinks he can open a restaurant

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